The Greater Accra Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has started the demolition of unauthorized structures at the Animal Research Institute (ARI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) following the expiration of the 48-hour ultimatum given to the encroachers to relocate.
In 1976 Government of Ghana secured 1000 acres of land under Executive Instrument (E.I. 38) at Adentan-Frafraha for ARI to conduct research, however, a greater portion of the land has been encroached on.
According to the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey, who led the demolition exercise, 900 acres of the land have been taken over by the encroachers and the exercise was to protect the remaining 200 acres.
He said when the land was acquired by the government, appropriate compensations were paid to the rightful owners, however, “over the years some unscrupulous persons have made it a habit to be selling portions of this land to unsuspecting Ghanaians.”
He said for the past eight years the CSIR has made some efforts to retrieve the lands illegally encroached on but the efforts have not yielded any significant result.
He said in 2017, the CSIR secured a loan to fence off the land but encroachers broke a large portion of the fence and put-up rooms for residential accommodation.
“Land guards have broken down portions of the piggery infrastructure, destroyed four cattle kraals and erected residential structures for themselves. Land guards have also built walls and single rooms in front of the Hatchery, Meat Processing House and the Dairy Processing Unit blocking access to these facilities by vehicles,” he added.
He noted that the development has compromised the security of facilities of CSIR, adding that some ongoing experiments have been destroyed by the land guards including donor-sponsored projects.
Also, he said some staff of the ARI-CSIR were occasionally assaulted by the land guards who have threatened to burn down the bungalows of junior staff.
He said none of the occupiers of ARI-CSIR land has a permit and REGSEC would do whatever it takes to evict them.
Bala Ali, ISD